Osteopilus septentrionalis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Osteopilus septentrionalis
Species Authority: (Duméril & Bibron, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Cuban Treefrog, Giant Tree-frog
Hyla dominicensis subspecies insulsa Mittleman, 1950
Hyla dominicensis subspecies septentrionalis Mertens, 1938
Hyla insulsa (Cope, 1863)
Hyla microterodisca Werner, 1921
Hyla schebestana Werner, 1917
Hyla septentrionalis Duméril & Bibron, 1841
Trachycephalus insulsus Cope, 1863
Trachycephalus marmoratus Duméril & Bibron, 1841
Trachycephalus septentrionalis (Duméril and Bibron, 1841)
Trachycephalus wrightii Cope, 1863

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-11-13
Assessor(s): Blair Hedges, Luis Díaz, Beatrice Ibéné, Rafael Joglar, Robert Powell, Federico Bolaños, Gerardo Chaves
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
2008 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs on Cuba, the Isla de Juventud (Cuba), Archipelago de los Canarreos (Cuba), the Archipelago de Sabana-Camaguey (Cuba), Cayos de San Felipe (Cuba), the Cayman Islands, and the following places in the Bahamas: Little and Great Bahamas Banks, Long Island, Cat Island, Conception Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Crooked-Acklands Bank, and Great Inagua Island. It is introduced on Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St John, St Thomas), Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Beef Island and Peter Island (British Virgin Islands), the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Florida Keys and mainland Florida (USA), Hawaii (USA), Anguilla, St Martin (France portion, not yet in Netherlands portion), St Barthelemy, Bonaire, and Limon, Costa Rica (Gerardo Chaves pers. comm.). It occurs from sea level up to 1,110m asl.
Bahamas; Cayman Islands; Cuba
Anguilla; Costa Rica; Guadeloupe; Puerto Rico; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is an extremely abundant species. It is spreading rapidly, with frequent new island records (Perry and Gerber, 2006).
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It generally inhabits mesic habitats but may be found in xeric habitat in the Bahamas, living in all kinds of disturbed habitats, including towns and houses. It is also present in forests, mangroves and coastal areas. It can also tolerate brackish water. It is found on the ground and on tree trunks. Males call from vegetation near pooled rainwater. Eggs are laid in still water, including pools, marshes, flood pastures, and ditches. It is competing with other species, and predates native amphibians in the wild. It might also be a vector for pathogens.

Breeding events have been found to last only one night and male mating behavior changes from acoustic competition to scramble searching over the breeding event. Most males have similar opportunities to mate with a female, and there doesn't appear to be a direct adaptive benefit for high mating selectivity by females, which can increase the invasive capacity of O. septentrionalis (Vargas Salinas, 2006).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is common in the pet trade. Probably most of the trade is in captive-bred animals.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no threats to this species. The species' diet suggests that it could severely impact native species, and its tadpoles impact those of some native anurans (see Perry and Gerber, 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in many protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Breuil, M. 2002. Histoire naturelle des Amphibiens et Reptiles terrestres de l'archipel Guadeloupéen. Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy. Patrimoines Naturels 54: 1-339.

Breuil, M. 2004. Amphibiens et Reptiles des Antilles. PLB Editions, Guadeloupe.

Buurt, G. van. 2006. Conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. Applied Herpetology 3: 307-321.

Fong G., A. 2007. Monitoring amphibian populations in two sensitive habitats in Cuba.

Hedges, S.B. 1993. Global amphibian declines: a perspective from the Caribbean. Biodiversity and Conservation 2(3): 290-303.

Hedges, S.B. 1999. Distribution of amphibians in the West Indies. In: W.E. Duellman (ed.), Patterns of Distribution of Amphibians. A Global Perspective, pp. 211-254. The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, Maryland.

Hedges, S.B. 2001. Caribherp: database of West Indian amphibians and reptiles ( Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Henderson, R.W. and Powell, R. 1999. West Indian herpetoecology. In: B.I. Crother (ed.), Caribbean Amphibians and Reptiles, pp. 223-226. Academic Press, San Diego, California.

Henderson, R.W. and Powell, R. 2001. Responses by the West Indian herpetofauna to human-influenced resources. Caribbean Journal of Science 37: 41-54.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.2). Available at: (Accessed: 29 June 2010).

Joglar, R.L. 1999. Que Cante el Coquí Ensayos, Cartas y Otros Documentos Sobre la Conservación de la Biodiversidad en Puerto Rico (1987-1999). Proyecto Coquí, Puerto Rico.

Joglar, R.L. and Rios, N. 1995. Osteopilus septentrionalis (Cuban Tree Frog, Rana Platanera) in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Herpetological Review: 105-106.

Joglar, R.L., Rios, N. and Cardona, M. 1998. Osteopilus septentrionalis (Cuban Tree Frog, Rana Platanera) in Coamo, Puerto Rico. Herpetological Review: 107.

Kaiser, H. and Henderson, R.W. 1994. The conservation status of Lesser Antillean frogs. Herpetological Natural History 2(2): 41-56.

Lorvelec, O., Pascal, M., Pavis, C. and Feldmann, P. 2007. Amphibians and reptiles of the French West Indies: Inventory, threats and conservation. Applied Herpetology 4: 131-161.

Meshaka Jr, W.E. 2001. The Cuban Treefrog in Florida: Life History of a Successful Colonizing Species. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Perry, G., and Gerber, G.P. 2006. Conservation of amphibians and reptiles in the British Virgin Islands: Status and patterns. Applied Herpetology: 237-256.

Powell, R. 2006. Conservation of the herpetofauna on the Dutch Windward Islands: St. Eustatius, Saba, and St. Maarten. Applied Herpetology 3: 293-306.

Powell, R., Passaro, R.J. and Henderson, R.W. 1992. Noteworthy herpetological records from Saint [sic] Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. Caribbean Journal of Science: 234-235.

Rivero, J.A. 1998. Los Anfibios y Reptiles de Puerto Rico / The Amphibians and Reptiles of Puerto Rico. Second edition. Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan.

Savage, J.M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna between two Continents, between two Seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Schwartz, A. and Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies: Descriptions, Distributions and Natural History. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Florida.

Townsend, J.H., Eaton, J.M., Powell, R., Parmerlee, Jr, J.S. and Henderson, R.W. 2000. Cuban treefrogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis) in Anguilla, Lesser Antilles. Caribbean Journal of Science: 326-328.

Vargas Salinas, F. 2006. Breeding behavior and colonization success of the Cuban treefrog Osteopilus septentrionalis. Herpetologica 62(4): 398-408.

Citation: Blair Hedges, Luis Díaz, Beatrice Ibéné, Rafael Joglar, Robert Powell, Federico Bolaños, Gerardo Chaves 2010. Osteopilus septentrionalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
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